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Houston

Anchor Courtney Zavala Leaving KPRC

Courtney_Zavala1Houston NBC affiliate KPRC is saying goodbye to one of its longtime weekend morning anchors: Courtney Zavala. Zavala told media blogger Mike McGuff that her contract was up and the station offered her another, but she declined.

“It’s time for me to bow out gracefully and go out the way I want to go out instead of them telling me it’s time to leave,” Zavala told McGuff. “It was not an easy decision, it was several months in the making.”

Zavala said she’s looking forward to spending time with her husband and sons and has no immediate career plans ahead of her.

“I feel like I missed so much of my family life, that I’m just ready to be present,” Zavala told McGuff.

Zavala has worked at KPRC since 2003. Prior to that, she was a fill-in anchor/reporter at KSTU, the FOX affiliate in Salt Lake City.

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KTRK Sports Reporter Recounts 3-Year-Old Daughter’s Near Drowning

NunoKTRK sports reporter David Nuno says “I thought I failed as a parent” when he remembers the day last summer when his three-year-old daughter nearly drowned. At a neighbor’s pool party, he was talking to his son when he heard screams. “Oh my God! The baby! And we look at the pool and Anneliese is floating at the top of the pool,” David said.

In a story that aired on the Houston ABC-owned station, Nuno and his wife told the story, and urged parents to learn CPR, which they credit with saving their daughter’s life–Nuno didn’t know it that day, but a neighbor did, and revived Anneliese. “My wife said it best – that will never happen to us. That will never happen to us,” Nuno said. “Do whatever you needed to do to save your child.”
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KTRK Shooting Suspect Found Not Guilty

KTRK

Back in March, we reported on a shooting at KTRK, the ABC-owned station in Houston.

Employees at the station told CBS affiliate KHOU that they saw a car parked outside the station on the morning of March 27, with a woman inside it videotaping the building on her cellphone.

Just after 9:00 a.m., the woman fired four shots into four cars in the parking lot and another five shots into an upstairs office window. Fortunately, no employees were injured during the attack. The suspect then led officers on a short chase before she was taken into custody. Police later found a semi-automatic handgun with a capacity of 12 rounds in her car.

KTRK now reports that the suspect, Michelle Monique Burks, has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. She was charged with deadly conduct and evading arrest. Burks will be committed to a state mental institution.

Veteran KTRK Anchor Dave Ward Cutting Back on Newscasts in 2015

dave wardLongtime KTRK anchor Dave Ward is stepping down from his 10:00 p.m. anchor duties at the end of the year. According to the Houston Business Journal, Ward, who has been with the ABC-owned station for 48 years, will continue anchoring the 6:00 p.m. newscasts in 2015, with occasional appearances at 10:00 p.m. for special reports.

This change doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as Ward has had some health problems as of late. We reported back in March of his shoulder surgery, which kept him away from the anchor desk for three weeks. In May 2012, Ward was out for more than a month after breaking his hip in a fall, minutes before a newscast. Despite these injuries, Ward always managed to get back on his feet, and back to work.

In a statement, Ward assured his loyal viewers that he’s not going away entirely:

“You have invited me into your hearts and into your homes, you have trusted me with the day’s news, and I have trusted you to be there, and you have been, for almost 48 years. I am honored and humbled to still be doing the work I love, anchoring ABC-13 Eyewitness News. So let’s be clear — I’m not going anywhere! I’m just going to go home a little earlier, that’s all.”

Ward will anchor his last 10:00 p.m. newscast on December 23.

Reporter Angela Chen Joins KTRK

Angela-ChenWe recently wrote about reporter Jessica Holloway leaving Houston’s KTRK (and TV news altogether) to work for Harris County tax assessor-collector Mike Sullivan.

Well, now we have word on who will be replacing Holloway at the ABC-owned station: reporter Angela Chen. According to Houston media blogger Mike McGuff, Chen has been working at Reno ABC affiliate KOLO for the past year as a morning reporter/fill-in anchor. Before that, she worked at CW affiliate XETV in San Diego as a freelance reporter.

Chen has an impressive resume: she’s fluent in Mandarin, has an undergraduate degree from UC San Diego and a master’s from Columbia. Chen has also been a freelance contributor at The New York Times for the past two years.

KTRK Reporter Jessica Holloway Leaving TV News

JessicaHollowayJessica Holloway, a reporter for Houston’s KTRK, has decided to leave not only the ABC-owned station, but the world of TV news altogether.

Holloway, known around these parts for rescuing a drowning armadillo, has joined Harris County tax assessor-collector Mike Sullivan as his new outreach manager. Holloway has been working in television and radio for more than 12 years. Prior to joining KTRK in 2014, she was an investigative reporter at ABC affiliate KVUE in Austin, Texas.

Holloway spoke to Houston media blogger Mike McGuff about how her TV experience has prepared her for her new role:

“My goal has always been to come back to my hometown and serve my community. I strive for fairness, honesty and transparency in my work. I have extensive experience covering county government and politics. My experience will translate into a strong leadership role, ensuring citizens’ needs are given the utmost priority,” she said.

Reporter Syan Rhodes Promoted to Weekend Anchor at KPRC

SyanRhodesReporter Syan Rhodes has been promoted to weekend anchor at Houston NBC affiliate KPRC. The anchor seat next to Phillip Mena has been empty since Irika Sargent left for Miami CBS-owned WFOR back in May.

KPRC senior executive producer Rick McFarland confirmed the promotion to media blogger Mike McGuff.

Rhodes previously worked at Orlando NBC affiliate WESH as an anchor.

Anoushah Rasta Named Reporter at KPRC

Anoushah3Anoushah Rasta has joined Houston NBC affiliate KPRC as a reporter.

KPRC news director Rhonda Errer LaVelle confirmed the move to Houston media blogger Mike McGuff. Rasta previously worked at NBC affiliate KTSM in El Paso, Texas, where she was weekend anchor and reporter.

Before that, Rasta was a news assistant, apprentice and freelance traffic producer at Los Angeles ABC-owned station KABC.

KHOU Debuts New Gannett Ticker

Houston CBS affiliate KHOU has debuted a brand new Gannett/USA Today-inspired ticker, complete with color coded stories, constant time and temperature updates and an ‘information system to enhance your viewing experience.’

According to KHOU’s website:

“KHOU 11 News is making it easier for you to watch our newscasts with our new, easy-to-read graphic design. Our new design will help you get more out of our newscasts with a simple interface and the color coding will help you easily identify content in our newscasts.”

Watch above as anchor Lisa Hernandez takes viewers through the new features.

KPRC Anchors Make Appearance on ‘Tonight Show’

Last night, KPRC anchors Dominique Sachse, Bill Balleza and chief meteorologist Frank Billingsley, made separate surprise appearances on ”The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Media blogger Mike McGuff reports that the threesome from the Houston NBC affiliate were part of a segment called I’ve Got Good News and Good News,” where Jimmy Fallon has anchors from across the country (NBC affiliates only) give their viewers happy news for once.

Watch as these cheerful anchors discuss why you’re the coolest person in the world, why traffic jams are no longer possible where you live, and why there’s a forecast of 100% puppy hugs.

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